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Questions For Your Immigration Solicitor

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Many people are a bit intimidated about contacting an immigration solicitor, whether they need legal advice about a spouse visa , work visa or student visa, appealing an immigration decision or applying to settle in the UK. It can be difficult to pick up the phone and equally difficult to know what questions to ask your immigration lawyer. We take a look at the questions you should ask your immigration solicitor.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on any aspect of immigration law call the immigration team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Which immigration solicitor?

Before we look at the questions for your immigration solicitor it is best to check that you have the right immigration solicitor for your needs. You need to ask the following questions:

  • Does the law firm specialise in immigration law?
  • Will you have a named immigration solicitor that you can call or see rather than webchat?
  • Is the lawyer accredited to give immigration legal advice?
  • Does your immigration solicitor specialise in the area you need immigration legal advice on? For example, some immigration solicitors specialise in individual immigration applications (like student visas and indefinite leave to remain applications or Spouse Visa Solicitors in spouse visas and family visas) and others in business immigration
  • Is the law firm recognised for its expertise in immigration law by inclusion in the leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession?
  • Has the immigration law firm got great reviews from satisfied immigration clients?

The consultation

With immigration law many consultations have to take place remotely because applicants are living overseas and applying for a UK visa or entry clearance. Immigration solicitors are therefore used to conducting consultations by phone, video call, zoom or in person at the office. If you have a preference, it is best to say.

Why do you need legal advice from an immigration solicitor?

You may think that you know why you need legal advice from an immigration solicitor but expect your immigration lawyer to ask questions. That is because their job is to look at all your immigration options and work out the best one for you. For example, the visa you may be interested in may not lead to settlement in the UK whereas an alternative family visa or work visa could lead to an indefinite leave to remain application. Alternatively, some types of visa lead to quicker settlement (referred to as ‘accelerated settlement’).

A specialist immigration solicitor will discuss all the potential visas that you may meet the entry clearance for and advise on the best one for your personal, family and financial circumstances. For example, if you are intending to stay in the UK for less than six months you may not even require a visa. For example, you may think that you need a UK work visa but you may be able to enter the UK on a visitor visa if your planned business in the UK falls within the definition of ‘permissible activities’ under the immigration rules relating to visitor visas.

Questions for your immigration solicitor

Visa applicants are often keen to know that their chosen immigration solicitor has a one hundred percent track record of success. Whilst you may want to question your immigration lawyer’s expertise remember that many expert immigration law firms take on the most difficult cases with either a history of previous immigration applications or appeals.

The questions you need to think about asking your immigration solicitor are:

  • What information do they need to process your immigration application or settlement application?
  • Do you need to provide any documents ? What paperwork will best help your immigration case?
  • How long will your immigration application take the Home Office to process?
  • Can you get a speedier decision from the Home Office? For example, in some situations, the Home Office offer a priority or premium service.
  • Will you need to be interviewed by a Home Office official to secure your visa or indefinite leave to remain status or British citizenship? What will Home Office officials ask?
  • Is your immigration application or appeal likely to be successful?
  • If you are in the UK at the date of your immigration application, can you travel overseas whilst the Home Office is processing your application?
  • If you secure a work visa or a family visa how long will the visa last for and will you have to apply to extend the visa or switch visa before you meet the residence requirement to be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain?
  • If you obtain a visa will there be any conditions imposed on it? For example, if you secure a student visa there are conditions limiting the amount of paid work you can undertake. For example, if you secure a skilled worker visa you can only work for an employer with a Home Office issued sponsor licence.
  • How much are the immigration solicitors fees? Remember that the Home Office also charge fees for processing your application. The Home Office fees will depend on the nature of your visa or settlement application and whether you want the Home Office to prioritise your application by using their priority service.

You may have extra questions. For example, you may be worried about whether your family will meet the eligibility criteria for a dependant visa or you may be concerned about having to give evidence at an appeal hearing or fearful that your visa application won't be processed by the Home Office before your existing visa runs out or that you won't be able to change your employment if you enter the UK on a skilled worker visa or that your partner’s income isn’t sufficient to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa. Whatever your immigration question it is best to ask the question. Your immigration solicitor may not be able to give you an immediate answer but they will be able to tell you what information or paperwork they need to answer your immigration or settlement questions.

 UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors 

Do you have immigration questions? For advice on any aspect of immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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